Sunday, May 14, 2006

Ask your doctor about...

Are you feeling off your form? Out of the pink?

Do other people seem to be having more fun?

Are you tired, listless, irritable, or just feeling down in the dumps? Too much or too little appetite? Too much or too little sleep?

Heartburn, flatulence, runny nose? Unfounded anxieties?

Need to go too often? Not often enough?

Is sex not as much fun as it used to be? Do you pause for a breath halfway up the stairs? Does that roll of flab around the middle depress you? Do you experience pangs of envy or remorse when the good-looking kid next door jogs past in skimpy running togs?

Is your quality of life on the skids?

It's time for the heart-shaped pink tablet.

It's WellPil time.

WellPil is a prescription drug especially formulated to get you back in the pink. In clinical studies, one WellPil tablet taken with a meal once a day brought relief to 30 percent of patients who experience symptoms of life-quality diminishment, compared to only 27 percent of patients who were treated with a placebo.

And WellPil can be yours for only $100 a month. Yes, it is true that the same medication is available in Canada and Mexico for $10 a month, but would you want to live where it's cold or dusty? Would you want to live without our beautiful WellPil commercials, available only in America?

Do not be fooled by cheaper generic substitutes. Generic versions of this drug do not have the WellPil name, or the WellPil panache. Do you want to take a medicine called decyohexahoxayrodipyilene? Can you trust your pharmacist to get all those Y's and X's right?

We at Blisso Pharmaceuticals are so confident that WellPil is right for you that we have invested $500 million dollars in this ad campaign to make you aware that you don't have to feel less than your personal best.

Of course, WellPil is a prescription medicine, and only your doctor can decide if WellPil is the best remedy for your symptoms, which is why we have supplied physicians with $200 million worth of free drugs to make them aware of your personal needs. Ask for a free sample.

And just look at our salemen and women that visit doctors, every one young and gorgeous with sunbeam smiles. Living advertisments for our product.

If your doctor suggests a traditional or less-expensive remedy, make sure to insist upon WellPil. There is no substitute for the pink, heart-shaped tablet.

(In small print.) WellPil is not for everyone. Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant, operate heavy machinery, drive a car, drink, smoke, eat chocolate, or use exercise equipment. Do not take WellPil if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. In addition to the active ingredient, decyohexahoxayrodipyilene, WellPil also contains aluminum magnesiosterate, pixilated hydroxyanisolene, sodium diyyyxxxetate, and food coloring agent GY7. Consult your doctor if you are in doubt if WellPil is right for you.

Side effects: Some people who take WellPil may experience abdominal pain, blurred vision, cramps, diarrhea, edema, flatulence, gastritis, headache, impotence, jaundice, kidney failure, liver failure, migraine, nausea, otitis, post-nasal drip, quickened breath, rash, sleep disorders, tinnitus, urinary-tract infections, vertigo, wheezing, xanthokyanopy, yaws, or zoomania.

(In very, very small print.) A university study has shown that 65 percent of people who take WellPil have no symptoms that require medication. Consult your doctor.

(Back to the large print.) No one should feel less than their very best. If human ingenuity can put a man on the moon, it can assure that every American looks and feels just as good as those beautiful people you see in the WellPil commercials. At Blisso Pharmaceuticals, we have spared no expense to make you aware that your life need not be less than perfect.

So, shake off the blues. Put a spring in your step. Ask your doctor for the heart-shaped tablet that has a heart.

Get back in the pink -- with WellPil.

Further Reading

See my previous Musing on this topic.

Marcia Angell, The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It. Angell is a former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Jerry Avorn, Powerful Medicines: The Benefits, Risks and Costs of Prescription Drugs. Avorn is a professor at the Harvard Medical School.

Jerome P. Kassirer, On the Take: How America's Complicity with Big Business Can Endanger Your Health. Kassirer is another former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine.

John Abramson, Overdosed America: The Broken Promise of American Medicine.

Discuss this essay and more over on the Science Musings Blog.